24 Hours in Wawa, Ontario, Canada


Last week I highlighted our drive to Wawa through the Lake Superior Provincial Park where we marveled over the stunning Canadian shoreline along this massive Great Lake.  Upon finally reaching our destination we promptly got lost looking for our motel as we began gawking, staring at this extra large Canadian Goose (28 foot) that greets visitors to this old mining town. The iconic statue was built in the 1960 in celebration of the completion of the Trans-Canada Highway. Prior to this highway being constructed you had to undergo the arduous trips by fly by float plane, train or boat to Wawa.

As we arrived at the end of Canada Day, we grabbed a quick dinner at Tim Hortons (because when in Canada) before heading to the city boardwalk to catch the fireworks.  Really  we were had little options other than getting Tim Hortons as that was the only restaurant open due to the holiday.

As we were driving through town in anticipation of the fireworks we started seeing red flags that something wasn’t quite right. There were NO people anywhere. I was expecting hordes of people lining the roads and set up in their front yards. Upon parking we did some quick Googling only to discover the fireworks had been postponed due to inclement weather approaching. So with sunset rapidly approaching we raced back to Lake Superior to try to catch a romantic sunset over the lake. This was my idea of course, as Luke rolled his eyes at my idyllic ending to our travel day. Our random adventure to Sandy Beach ended up taking us down a one lane dirt road that had us questioning whether or not we were lost. We eventually found the recommended beach just as the sun was setting, with the storm rolling in causing Lake  Superior’s waves to be much larger than we’d viewed a few hours previously.  Overall, we were thankful for this turn of events as Sandy Beach was stunning at sunset.  Once we backtracked to the main road we eventually found our motel, which proved to be a gem in its own right.

Northern Lights Motel

Luke had found this motel due to its wonderful reviews online, however the website claimed they didn’t have an associated telephone number. I much prefer to call to reserve rooms, in contrast to booking online, but alas the latter option was the only one available.  Upon further explanation on their website as to why they eliminated phone calls thereby decreasing mistakes or pointless busywork this policy absolutely makes sense from a practical standpoint.  So we booked our rooms, fingers crossed that our room would be ready for us upon arrival.  Thankfully, we found our motel, which at first glance looked reassuringly quaint. After getting our room, we were amused by all the caricatures around our room and the level of detail the owners went into to think of anything and everything we might call the front desk to inquire about or need.  We really enjoyed our stay at this unique, detail oriented yet simple motel that felt like more of a home than a hotel.



Boardwalk along Lake Wawa

The next morning Luke and I got up early as we knew we wanted to explore the sights in Wawa before the long drive ahead of us.  Alas, the area was covered in a thick fog that significantly hindered our planned sightseeing. We continued ahead marveling at how our views were so limited compared to the evening before.  Our first stop involved driving back into Wawa to meander along the boardwalk. Despite the fact that it was going to be in the high 90s back home, it was a chilly morning in the upper 40s when we woke up in Wawa.  Bracing against the brisk wind, we walked along the shoreline and marveled at the large mining rig. In the photo below you can see Luke in the background fielding a work call.



Spread throughout Wawa you’ll find these unique Gitche Gumeetotem totem poles, as named after Lake Superior. If I had been thinking further ahead I would have captured images of more of them as they are scattered throughout. One even startled me as I turned a corner along the boardwalk and unexpectedly stumbled upon one that I thought was a person. I’ve spent more time Googling than I want to admit and I cannot find any historical significance associated with these widely varying carvings.  I have an email pending with Wawa Tourism Office. I’ll update this post hopefully clarifying the quandary if I hear back.

Magpie High Falls (Also known as the Scenic High Falls)

Who doesn’t love waterfalls! It was high on my list of things to do in Wawa to visit both the Scenic High Falls and the Silver Falls.  I was a little disappointed to learn that the Scenic Falls were man made from a dam but they are beautiful regardless. The fog on the day that we visited these landmarks added another level of beauty that the photos fail to capture.


Silver Falls

The hike to Silver Falls promised to be a easy hike but Luke and I found ourselves climbing over fallen trees, even questioning the path at certain points. Once we got to the top of the hike, it was well worth the obstacle course as you end up right at the top of the falls. You can’t tell from the picture, but Luke was uncomfortably sweating when he took the photo of me standing at the edge.


After leaving Silver Falls we headed back south through the Lake Superior Provincial Park on our way home to Michigan. We had a few sights in mind that we wanted to hit in our home state that we hadn’t visited since we were kids.  Stay tuned next week for my post highlighting our stops at Whitefish Point and Tahquamenon Falls.


  1. Definitely worth the tiny wait 😉 I don’t think I could have stood so close to the Silver Falls drop off! You’re an adventurous woman, Sarah. I look forward to finding out the history and reasoning behind those totem poles, the blue and black one certainly didn’t look friendly…

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  2. I loved your Wawa post! I went there a few times as a kid, as I had an uncle that used to live in Wawa. Seeing all your photos brought back lovely memories of running around the waterfalls with my brothers, and swimming in Lake Superior. Thank you for sharing! I’m glad you were able to enjoy one of Ontario’s many small towns 🙂

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